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Teaching in Qatar???

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Sarah2903, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    My partner has a job in Qatar starting in Jan and I will be joining him in July (when we are married). I am in my second year of teaching Science in the UK and I will need a job starting in August/September.
    I am looking for any advice on how to apply for jobs - what do I need to write into my letter, what to include in CV and will schools be intersted in me with only 2 years experience. Is there anyway to check the schools as I have been unsuccessful in research so far :(
    I will be visiting my partner in the febuary half term - will the schools be open to visit? Is it best to visit?
    Really I just am after any advice that can help me be successful in my application for a Science teacher position,
    Thanks for any advice in this exciting and scary time,
  2. hi sarah,
    im currently working in a school in qatar and if your fella is getting a job here there might be scope for you with jobs in september too as we havent advertised yet!
    I would definately reccomend trying to get in at the same school just to make things easier for yourself in the long run, especially with housing etc
    PM me if you want any more info or specific school info
  3. I so far have avoided applying for jobs in Qatar. I have a friend who was there and said it was, well safe and all, but quite boring. What is it like living there?
  4. catnipbon

    catnipbon New commenter

    It's safe and very very exciting, don't avoid it
  5. tyler durden

    tyler durden New commenter

    The most common complaint about Qatar is that it's boring but I think that there's plenty to do and I definitely have more to do here than in the UK. I think the main issue people have is the somewhat limited selection of Bars/clubs (There are only about 30).

    However, there really is plenty to do here. For a start- the world class sporting events and facilities. We currently have the Asian football cup and in the last year we've had the Qatar Golf open, Moto GP, Tennis open, Athletics championships, Brazil vs England, Brazil v Argentina, Powerboat championships etc. These events are all free or very cheap to attend (£5-10). If you want to participate in sport then there are amateur leagues for most tastes (hockey/darts/football/rugby/cycling etc.)

    If you are into your culture there is the annual Doha Tribeca film festival, the cultural village (which has events on a weekly basis), the museum of Islamic art, touring musicians and orchestras and a thriving amateur dramatics group.

    The outdoors type? Quad biking and jet skiing are both very popular, as is off road driving/camping. This is unrestricted and you can camp pretty much anywhere.

    My wife is a self confessed shop-a-holic and has yet to become tired of the numerous shopping malls, all of which have western shops with the latest fashions. There are also the souks where a more authentic shopping experience is to be had (complete with haggling).

    There are hundreds of choices for dining- whether it's a local shwarma for less than a pound or fine dining at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant. Aside from pork, everything and anything is on the menu.

    Qatar isn't for everyone. If you're a young single bloke then the 10:1 guys to girls ratio isn't going to work in your favour. However there are plenty of girls out here enjoying the ratio!!

    Describing Qatar as boring is just lazy. There's no such thing as a boring city- only boring people.
  6. DohaDave

    DohaDave New commenter

    If you are visiting Qatar in February then visit the schools and drop your CV off. It will give you the chance to see the schools and decide whether you like the feel of them and the school may well appreciate not having to spend money on advertising if a post becomes available. Good luck!
  7. I spent two years in Qatar. I would not describe the place as 'exciting'.

    People may claim there are 30 bars, but i would say this is not true. During my time, there were around 5 real options, The Sheraton, The Marriott, The Ramada, The Intercontinental and the Mercure. All of these were not within walking distance of one another, which meant that if you wanted a change of scenary you had to get in a taxi. Yeah the taxis are cheap, but it does not alter the fact that the traffic is usually crazy so it takes time to go from one place to another. Furthermore you have to get ID cards for these places, and some places wont let single guys in after a certain time. + depending on your housing location, you could be quite far from these Hotels - given the traffic issues.

    I enjoyed my time in Doha, but in reality there is not a great deal to do. Yes, Qatar hosts some great sports tournaments, but there is nothing to explore. You can visit Dukhan or go to some fort in the North, but there is nothing there, and its hardly a great day trip. Most people spend there time, in one of the two large shopping malls, in one of the few bars, or in their compound with friends/family by the pool.

    I am not saying to avoid Doha, far from it, like i said i enjoyed my time there, but like many places its the people that you meet and work with that are the key elements to whether or not you enjoy the place. I met some good friends but from my experience i found that for many people they live their lives on the compounds essentially. There is nothing wrong with this far fromt it :), but it hardly makes it 'exciting'. Relaxing yes.

    If you find Doha a very very exiciting place you either 1) met some terrific people or 2) have not travelled much. I have been all over the world, and i am currently teaching in Korea, and sorry but Doha is not exciting, after the first few weeks.

  8. tyler durden

    tyler durden New commenter

    How long ago were you here?
  9. I was in Qatar from 2008-2010.

    When I said there were only 5 real options for bars, I meant it. I thought Sky View in La Sagal was excellent but the price and potential reservation issue usually put my friends off from going. Likewise the Piano Bar in the same Hotel was very expensive and only really for couples. The Pearl in the Mariott looked great, but the only time I ever went, some of my friends were almost charged £30 at the door, and after 10pm we were told we could no longer sit at any table, because they were all reserved – even when the place was relatively empty. The Ramada may have had four bars, but only two were real options..Paloma in the the Intercon was more like a restaurant and the beach parties they schedule are a little off putting when Above and Beyond played there, there was no age limit and no alcohol going served. The Q Hotel tried to overcharge us by a considerable amount when we went to settle our bar tab, when we politely explained that we had neither ordered or drank these drinks, they told us never to come back (we were well behaved all night). The Ruby Club is a bit of a dump...and requires membership or someone to sign you in. Membership is only straightforward for whites. I knew a British Lady who was refused membership four times because of her skin colour, her friends that applied at the same time became members straight away. The Qube Night club on first appearance is nice. The layout and music played is good, the price is fine, but there are around 9 guys to every 1 girl. Then once you have taken into consideration the girls that are married or with their boyfriends that leaves a ratio of around 1:18. Then taken into consideration that some of these women when you look a little closer are in their 50s! And the others vary in their looks, the ratio is more like 1:50. Watching the two Filipino dancers circled by 25 guys is a little disturbing, when these guys are doing nothing but stare.
    Doha is very safe, but the female teachers I worked with would complain about inappropriate behaviour by some locals in the lifts, and some were uncomfortable with the constant staring when ever out in public. That said girls could save an absolute fortune as they could if they chose let guys buy them drinks all night..
    Most of the people I knew usually just bought a booze license and held house, villa or compound parties. It saved the Hassel of taking in some cases a long taxi to a Hotel, and could save a lot of money.
    The sports events were excellent but when you think about it most Capital Cities host Sports events year round. I guess the real benefit here was the price (cheap) and ease with which to get tickets – but often they don’t publicise these events very well...and when I went to the Diamond League athletics they reserved the home straight for Qatari’s so that part of the stadium was completely empty (1/4 of the stadium).

    Like I said initially...I enjoyed my time there, but it was hardly an exciting country.

  10. tyler durden

    tyler durden New commenter

    I think that if you were looking for excitement (a word I didn't use in my description) then coming to Qatar was not the best choice in the world. Likewise I doubt that it's much of a secret that picking up girls is not the easiest thing to do in the Middle East.

    There is however plenty to do.

    In terms of bars there is a decent selection- The Ritz-Carlton has 3 good options, the Intercon has 3 bars and a night club- plus regular beach parties (David Guetta and Armand Van Helden are two notable recent guests, neither event was 'dry'), Sheraton has 2, Ramada has two plus Qube, Grand Hyatt has a couple as does the W, the Four Seasons, La Cigale and most of the other 5 star hotels. The golf club is really nice for drinking outside and their food is pretty good too. On the Pearl there are a number of restaurants that serve alcohol as long as you're dining.

    'a long taxi to a hotel' Did you live in Dukhan?? The longest taxi I've ever been in was about 20mins- And that was from my house to the airport-which is on the other side of Doha- and it cost about £8). Taxi's here are ridiculously cheap! Some people do grumble about the traffic but having lived in London and the South East of England it doesn't seem so bad.

    House parties are very popular- as long as the party's good does it matter where it is?

    Yes drinking here is expensive- but petrol is very very cheap and you pay no tax so it really isn't so bad. If you're determined to get smashed for less then you can join the rugby club (which is admittedly a bit of a dive, but hey it's a rugby club), or you can hit a brunch where you can eat and drink alcohol and drink for 3-4 hours for £35-50 depending on where you go. I personally don't like the rugby club as it is full of people trying to get as drunk as possible as quickly and cheaply as possible. I don't think that you can accuse them of being racist though- whenever I've been there it's been a mixed crowd with lots of Kiwis with Maori heritage- my friend was denied membership he's the spitting image of Ronnie Corbett so I don't think it's a race thing.

    I'm sure that many capital cities do host sporting events year round but in terms of ability to get tickets, the price and the ease of getting to or from the venues I think Doha takes some beating. For example I've just decided to go to watch Australia play in the 1/4 finals of the Asian cup- the game's in an hour and a half and I'm still in my PJs.

    I can honestly say that I have never thought 'there's nothing to do here'. Perhaps the fact that I've made some amazing friends has helped a bit but I also think attitude has a lot to do with it.

    If you come out here expecting a good time to come to you then you'll be waiting a long time. If you come with an open mind, get involved and make an effort then you'll love the place.

    I've travelled widely and I grew up in London so I know a good time when I see one.

    If you're after cheap booze and easy girls stay home in the UK.

    If you're looking for excitement then go to Korea- nothing gets the heart beating like an air raid siren!
  11. You seriously need to read what I have written.

    As i tried to mention as often as possible i enjoyed Doha. I never once said the place was boring. I was simply replying to the person who claimed Doha was 'very, very exciting' and you who claimed there are 30 Bars to choose from. Why would i go to Doha, for cheap booze and easy girls? Stick to what i have written and dont make assumptions. I never complained about house parties - as i said, its the people you meet that makes a place great.

    You cant walk from one bar to another, unless your in a Hotel with 2 bars...or happen to want to walk from the Ramada to La Sigal which is a 20min walk in 40 degree heat. This is a fact - this therefore limits your options.

    I lived near the Souk, in Doha Jadeed, and so had a good location for getting to places. But the Intercontinental was a 20-30 minute taxi drive from 6pm onwards. The traffic along the corniche hardly moves at certain times, and the traffic on Salwa Road or on the road to Villagio can be incredibly annoying. I used to play football near Aspire Park, and it would take a taxi or my friend driving me up to an hour to get home. Some days i used to walk to the Ramada which was 30mins by foot, because i knew a taxi would take just as long.

    Like i said the sporting events are good, i am not denying this. I always tell people this was the best thing about Qatar, since i love sport and i was able to watch top athletes etc.

    Granted i did not meet a great deal of people in Qatar whilst i was here, but i never met anyone who called the place exciting. More often than not, they were wishing they were back home or saying there was nothing to do.

    Last points - I enjoyed Doha. Hope you enjoy the football.

  12. tyler durden

    tyler durden New commenter

    I'm sorry you didn't make many friends while you were here Ben. I think that this may have had an impact on how you view the place.

    If you want to you can walk from the Sheraton to the W or you can walk from the Ritz to the Grand Hyatt. I don't see how it limits options. I don't know why you'd be obsessed with walking when a taxi costs a pittance.

    There are about 30 bars/clubs. That is a fact- they may not all be to your taste but they are there.
  13. Hi Guys,

    Came across this forum fairly recently (bit delayed I know). I was just wondering if anyone had any more recent experience of working in Qatar. I'll have 5 years of experience working as a science teacher, I'm married, have a little 'un (couple of months old) and am hoping to start work abroad next summer (2014). Any hints/tips on how to apply, conditions working out there, things to consider, do's and don'ts or just generally any helpful advice would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

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